Weekly News Roundup: Lemurs are Threatened with Extinction and More

Lemurs: Big-eyes Wonders Threatened with Extinction

Today, the movie Island of Lemurs: Madagascar will open in IMAX 3D theaters. Take a second and learn some fun facts about Lemurs while treating yourself to some NWF news right after!

Lemur photo by Clarice Chiquetto.
Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Clarice Chiquetto.

What’s happening at the National Wildlife Federation this week?

National Wildlife Federation Applauds White House Methane Pollution Reduction Initiative

White house

March 28 – The White House unveiled an interagency strategy to reduce methane pollution from oil and gas production, coal mines, agriculture, and other sources.  Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that has 20 times the warming impact of carbon dioxide over a 100 year period.  Methane emissions account for about 9 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

The White House strategy includes plans to issue an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking by the end of 2014 to address methane emissions from coal mines.  It also proposes, by Fall 2014, to assess whether additional regulations are needed to control methane from the oil and gas sector, which were responsible for 28% of US methane emissions in 2012.

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said today:

“We applaud the Administration’s initiative to reduce methane pollution, which can be done effectively and at low-cost.  Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. Cutting methane pollution is critical to protecting wildlife and our children from the devastating impacts of climate change.  Methane pollution cuts are also vital to advancing the President’s carbon pollution reduction goals. We look forward to working with the Administration to ensure that this initiative results in timely and effective methane pollution reduction standards.”

Calling all Photographers: Enter to Win a Trip to the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’

Polar bear by Steve Perry

March 25 National Wildlife Federation is proud to announce a call for entries for the prestigious 44th annual National Wildlife® Photo Contest opening April 1, 2014. Operated by National Wildlife Federation’s award-winning, full-color magazine National Wildlife®, the popular contest celebrates the beauty of nature and raises funds to help the organization act to protect wildlife and wild places. The contest runs from April 1, 2014 through July 14, 2014.

Photographers of all levels of experience are invited to submit images in the juried competition and the popular “People’s Choice” Award. There also is a separate Youth division for teenagers ages 13-17.

Winners will see their photos featured in the magazine alongside images by the world’s top nature photographers, as well as on the National Wildlife Federation website and in the organization’s annual calendar. The Grand Prize is an expense-paid trip for two to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, to see and photograph polar bears.  First and second place winners in seven different categories and the Youth division will receive cash prizes — $500 for first place winners and $250 for second place winners.

Enter the contest at: http://www.nwf.org/PhotoContest. View the complete rules and contest details at: http://www.nwf.org/PhotoContestRules.

Groups: Permanent Solution to Invasive Species Crisis Needs to Remain Priority for Army Corps, States and Congress

Great Lakes

April 2 – Conservation groups are urging the Obama Administration and U.S. Congress to maintain their focus on a permanent, long-term solution to an invasive species crisis that is putting communities, businesses, and industry at risk. The groups submitted comments yesterday to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in response to the agency’s congressionally mandated study outlining ways to prevent the transfer of invasive organisms between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. Waterways in Chicago, built more than 100 years ago, artificially connect the two water bodies, opening both to destruction from aquatic invasive species like Asian carp.

The Army Corps study—known as the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study—clearly identifies physically separating the two iconic waters as the most effective way to prevent the spread of various invasive fish, parasites, grasses, and other organisms. And in their comments submitted today, conservation advocates are urging public officials to take immediate risk reduction steps and swiftly identify a permanent solution to achieve physical separation

Austin Teacher Wins Trip to “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” Premiere in Los Angeles

Carey Stanton

April 4 – National Wildlife Federation is proud to announce that Odom Elementary School biology teacher, Jack Jeansonne, has been named winner of National Wildlife Federation’s “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” Premiere Sweepstakes. The film opens exclusively in IMAX© theaters April 4th!

Jack Jeansonne and his two daughters, Emmaline (age 14) and Eleanor (age 11) were the lucky winners of the nationwide sweepstakes. The family was flown to Los Angeles on March 29thand were able to walk the red carpet with celebrities like Morgan Freeman and meet some real lemur ambassadors and the conservationists dedicated to saving them.

For more information about National Wildlife Federation’s partnership and to help protect wildlife please visit NWF’s site for “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar.”


NWF in the news:

Brooklyn Downtown Star: NWF awards Carroll Gardens school the Green Flag

For the environmental ingenuity of the students and staff, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) awarded the Eco-Schools USA Green Flag to PS 146, making them the fourth in the city and 24th in the country to receive the prestigious status.

The Mining Journal: Study: Great Lakes levels will continue to fluctuate

Others said such a project would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and might have negative consequences such as damaging fish spawning areas or causing flooding elsewhere. More scientific evidence is needed to judge whether it’s a good idea, said Andy Buschsbaum of the National Wildlife Federation.

Michigan Live: About 50 demonstrators gather outside of President Obama’s Ann Arbor speech

Next to the Pipeline Protesters was a group from the National Wildlife Federation who said they want Obama to act on climate change. Toledo, Ohio resident Frank Szollosi was the first to arrive for the National Wildlife Federation. He said that the group was showing support for cutting carbon pollution from power plants. “By addressing this, he’s acting on climate change,” Szollosi said, when asked about the demonstration.

The Daily Herald: How to get kids (and their gadgets) outdoors

A new National Wildlife Federation report explores the positive benefits of technology and outdoor exploration. And what’s really cool is that the report doesn’t just try to scare parents about how much time their kids are spending with technology. Instead, the authors offer ways that kids’ media habits can both positively and negatively impact health, learning and social development.

Newcastle News: Newcastle celebrates Earth Day April 19

Residents are encouraged to learn how to make their yards wildlife-friendly at the event, in a citywide effort to earn National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat Certification. Representatives from the National Wildlife Federation will be available to register residents’ yards as a backyard wildlife habitat at the event. Children are also invited to take photos with the organization’s mascot, Ranger Rick.

The Times: Gardens for mental health

According to the National Wildlife Federation, in the last two decades, childhood has moved indoors. Now, the average American boy or girl spends as few as 30 minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day while sitting more than seven hours each day in front of an electronic screen. This move from the outdoors to inside has a major impact on wellness.

The News Daily: U.S. court finds fault with federal water transfer regulation

However, environmental groups such as the National Wildlife Federation and Riverkeeper Inc. say water transfers cause pollution and should require permits. The issue has been hotly contested in South Florida where water has been pumped from canals into Lake Okeechobee contaminating the drinking water reservoir.